State: Wylie Baptist daycare was ‘an immediate danger to the health and safety of children there’

Local News

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – State investigators say they forced Wylie Baptist Church’s Childhood Development Center to close because their operation posed “an immediate danger to the health and safety of children there.”

In a letter announcing the immediate revocation of the Wylie Baptist CDC’s childcare permit, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission said they warned Wylie Baptist in September that they needed to change their operation to meet minimum standards and rules, or they would lose their permit. 

The HHSC conducted 7 surprise inspections since sending the letter on September 18. The letter told Wylie Baptist CDC that, “these inspections demonstrated that [the] operation was not meeting the conditions of the corrective action.”

Wylie Baptist CDC has been on either Corrective Action Evaluation or Corrective Action Probation 4 times in the past 3 years. Allegations involve neglect, safety issues, and even the sexual abuse of multiple children by daycare worker Benjamin Roberts, who has been sentenced to 20 years in prison on Federal charges related to child sex crimes. He is still facing State charges as well. 

A few months into the investigation against Roberts, Wylie Baptist CDC director Amanda McKee was arrested and charged with Failure to Report for withholding information that Roberts may have been touching children inappropriately. She allegedly received multiple complaints from parents and employees at the daycare. 

“The operation has been on some type of corrective action for over 74% of the last 38 months and there continues to be a decline in compliance,” the letter reveals.

The most recent violation is for leaving a child unattended for more than 20 minutes. Other violations (there have been 32 documented over the past 3 years, 24 of which are considered ‘high priority) include: Prohibited Punishments – Using Harsh, Abusive or Profane Language, Licensing Incident/Illness Report Form – Situations Placing Children at Risk, Infant May Not Sleep in a Restrictive Device, Responsibilities of Employees and Caregivers -Ensure No Child Abused, Neglected, or Exploited, and more. 

There is also, according to the letter, an active abuse or neglect investigation open at Wylie Baptist Child Development Center right now.

140 children were enrolled at the Wylie Baptist CDC when it abruptly closed Friday morning.

Parents, who were notified via text message, are now left scrambling to find a place to enroll their children.

KTAB and KRBC called several daycares in Abilene, and many of them had a wait list that is months long.

Only one daycare had openings, but they could only accommodate 15 children and were already giving tours to families affected by the Wylie Baptist CDC shutdown.

Anyone looking for a new daycare provider is encouraged to search the Texas DFPS website

Wylie Baptist Church released the following statement regarding the daycare closure: 

The Wylie Baptist Child Development Center is heartbroken over being closed down by the State Licensing Agency. We have been working for months on meeting requirements, standards, and best practices for children, their families, and our community. Regrettably, the State Licensing Office notified us today that they were revoking our license. We are praying for and communicating with all parents, staff, and teachers trying to help them as much as we possibly can. 

BigCountryHomepage will continue to monitor this breaking news story and will provide updates as soon as additional information is released. 

Read the full letter from Texas HHSC to Wylie Baptist Church CDC:

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